Superman Returns

My “Superman Returns” fansite

My short review …

I recently saw Superman Returns twice and it was brilliant.  Brandon Routh quickly proved himself to be a excellent choice to succeed Christopher Reeve and some of my friends remarked that at times, he sounded a lot like Reeve.  For the most part I thought this movie was brilliant and agree with many commentators that this is the movie we have been waiting for since Superman 2 all those years ago.  Of course one of the benefits of waiting so long is that the crew who made this movie possible had technology available to them that simply wasn’t available in the late 70s when Superman 2 was made.  The effects in Superman Returns were excellent and it was often difficult to see where reality ended and where the effects began.  A good example of this is a video on YouTube revealing the Superman who sent the shuttle off on its flight near the beginning of the movie was, in fact, computer generated.

There were many things about the movie I really enjoyed and prefer to the way Clark Kent and his abilities are dealt with in Smallville.  For one thing, when Superman flies, there is no noise like the one Clark makes every time he goes off somewhere in Smallville.  As you would expect, Superman is virtually silent when he flies.  All you really hear is the flapping of his cape or the occasional sonic boom when he goes supersonic.  The one thing that I initially thought was a little silly was that when he used his x-ray vision he wasn’t looking at things the way Clark Kent in Smallville was but was rather using what has been referred to as “see through vision”.  My wife pointed out that he can see through things in layers and it occurred to me that in the comics, this is one of the ways he can see through things.  In fact, towards the end of the movie when he rescued Lois and her family, he used something like x-ray vision to scan her for injuries.

A few people complained about inconsistencies in the storyline and pointed to things that seemed unrealistic even given the nature of the movie.  These included how he was able to lift the island into space with kryptonite coming at him for every direction when, 15 minutes before, he couldn’t muster the energy to fend off Lex Luthor’s thugs.  Of course he did rise up and get a quick charge from the sun before he did that but it does detract a little from the storyline a bit.  At the same time it wasn’t so implausible that it couldn’t possibly happen in the world of Superman.  He is Superman after all.  The major storyline change has to do with Lois’ son and that was a whopper.  I don’t know how that is going to pan out in what I hope will be future Superman movies with Routh.  It will be interesting to see how that is dealt with.

On the whole, this movie was excellent.  Routh was amazing, as was Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor.  Everyone was great and the movie was just what I have been waiting for.

(this is a cross post from my Vox blog)

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July 15, 2006 - Posted by | Actors, New media, Storyline


  1. SUPERMAN RETURNS! Another great triumph for the WB. For a totally unknown, it appears that Routh is going to be almost as good an actor as Klinton Spillsbury.
    The WB have a way of taking our heroes and presenting them in a fashion that we wouldn’t recognize. The plot is almost as interesting as the WB’s slant for the recent TV version of the Lone Ranger.
    Take SUPERMAN for instance. Our hero is now a deadbeat dad. Lois Lane is a headstrong, career-comes-first, feminist with an illegitimate child and an illicit living arrangement.
    Superman’s costume now displays an emblem that looks like a hood ornament from an automobile. His cape, boots and low-rider togs appear to be made from scorched rubber.
    Now all we need is Tom Cruise to appear as the next incarnation of SUPERMAN with Katie Holmes as Lois Lane.

    Comment by Rickey Tumlin | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  2. As much as I enjoy the Superman character and want this movie series to continue based on high ticket sales, let me tell you why this movie failed with me and so many others at the box office. And there are a good number of reasons. Where do I start? Let me just itemize SOME of the things Warner Bros. did I didn’t like, and the things Warner Bros. didn’t do you that it should have done.

    1. The initial scenes that once again tortured us with Superman’s birth history and adoption by the Kents is a colossal bore. You hear me??? It was a colossal bore##$@@@&%& I don’t ever want to see the Kents cluttering up the screen again. I’m sick to death of them. Who the hell wants to look at an old hag instead of Superman kicking ass?

    2. Don’t show us any more film of Clark Kent before he was Superman. How many times do we have to endure this??? No one cares. Start your damn film with Superman as Superman and end it with Superman as Superman.

    3. The scene showing Lex Luthor et al locating the Fortress of Solitude (with no apparent difficulty getting there), walking in as though they own the place, standing in one the coldest places in the world with no visible signs of them actually being cold, showing us that Lex Luthor knew that there was a crystal container, where it was and how to raise the platform holding the crystals (and everything else you threw at us in that scene) was ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. Since when is the Fortress of Solitude so easy to find, so easy to penetrate (given that it’s supposed to be constructed of advanced alien technology) that there isn’t even a simple burglar alarm?? They walked into Superman’s fortress as though they were on a guided tour. I mean, you must think the viewing audience is a bunch of imbeciles to buy into this childish nonsense.

    5. Ending the action sequence of the damaged Air Force 1 so abruptly by having Superman place it on the middle of a baseball field was a very poor decision. Nobody wanted the scene to end when it did and certainly not like that. ALl that foreplay and no orgasm. Wrong again, guys. You would have done better to have the plane split apart and then have Superman rescue each passenger in his chair as they were falling, tumbling, through space — placing each rescued passenger directly below the point in the sky where he caught them (that could have been nowhere near any other passenger). Seeing some placed (in their chairs) on rooftops, some in parks, others on sidewalks, etc., would have been much better.

    4. Don’t bunch your special effects that show Superman using his powers. The scene with Air Force 1 was the best example shown, but it was shown early in the movie. Nothing came close to those effects at any point as them movie progressed. (The “bullets” fired from the chain gun were really tacky, as special effects go. I mean, they looked painted on the screen. Is this the best you can do?)Those effects should have been just the beginning of a display of his great abilities. Unfortunately, there was nothing that even remotely approached it as the movie progressed. A big mistake. Do I consider Superman lifting an island into space a great special effect? No. Another boring use of film. Why don’t you have him instead lift Martha Kent and fling her into space? At least that would be one good way to end her painful appearances on screen.

    4. Now, take this to heart, and I mean this when I say — GET RID OF LOIS LANE, JIMMY OLSEN and PERRY WHITE. I can’t think of three more tedious supporting characters. These people are annoying in the extreme. They are nothing but anchors around Superman’s neck. I’m sick to death of his misplaced infatuation with an utterly common woman. Jimmy Olsen is always presented as a near idiot. Perry White is a buffoon. Lex Luthor, the only other character with at least some potential to be important, is nevertheless always shown to be the same cartoonish character instead of making him really evil (without his stupid errand boy and bimbo girlfriend). I can’t forgive you for using Gene Hackman as the original Lex Luthor. Why not a Barnum & Bailey clown?? As they are, these people are nothing but parasites who bring Superman down to their pathetic level. Get RID of them. Let Superman go. He shouldn’t be tied down anymore to this lackluster female or a knucklehead copyboy. This is 2006. Let Superman move on. We had to again endure your deliberately concocted campy schmaltzy atmosphere in this movie as though we’re all still in the 1950’s. Forget this. That time is long over. Wake up. It’s fifty years later.

    5. Superman needs — repeat, needs — to be an edgier character. He needs to show anger. All he’s ever been portrayed as is a big puppy dog. Forget it. Make him like Blade. Cool. Detached. Capable of great violence when justified. Push the envelope with this guy. He is Superman, not Superwimp. Pit him against the invading aliens of Independence Day. Do something original for a change. All of the scenes in which you showed Superman using his powers were, in fact, minor tests for him, given his powers. He smiled when shot in the eye by a bank robber. He should have picked that guy up and thrown him a quater mile into the river. And since when is guiding a damaged aircraft to a soft landing some big deal for him? It isn’t.

    6. Don’t ever, ever, ever, make him appear weak on screen. What is it with you idiots that you think people want to see Superman lose his powers? Do you really think we pay to see Superman be beaten up by a couple of ordinary thugs? Are you completely nuts? I don’t give a damn if your stupid producer or director was attempting to create art by “resurrecting” Superman after he (once again) lost his powers. In every effing Superman movie, he loses his powers. I’M SICK OF THIS!!! Leave him alone. If you’re going to do anything to him, make him stronger, you dumb bastards.

    OK, that’s enough. If you guys knew what you were doing, this movie wouldn’t have bombed at the box office. Look, you need to have real people screen movies such as this in order to avoid these kind of gaffes and poor judgments. Clearly, whomever you do have performing this task for you (and they’re probably just a bunch of buttkissers) is unfit to critique movies. There is so much room for improvement in Superman Returns that if I were asked to review this movie before you released it, it NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED. Better yet, it never would have been made as it was. Routh was excellent as a Reeve clone. What you need, though, is a Superman who is greatly offended by criminals, not one who just tolerates them and slaps their wrists.

    Comment by Dean Klein | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  3. But does the world REALLY need a Savior?


    Comment by Casual Observer | August 10, 2006 | Reply

  4. Okay I just read Dean Klien’s report on the Superman Returns movie. I agree with this guy %100 percent on every thing he has said but one thing that Dean forgot to mention. What about this Superman’s son shit ? As you recall in the early sequels with Christopher Reeve,Superman gave up his powers for some chain smoking, cougar hag. He even slept with her. Now when he went in the machine to reverse his powers and got them back Lois now had memory block and forgot the whole thing. ( Thank God ! )
    Still With me still now ? because here is the 1 2 3 combo knockout punch. In Superman Returns we asume in the begining that she does not know who the true father of her kid yet and that it is Richards ( her boyfriends ). All of a sudden her kid crushes someone with a piano and he’s now Supermans kid !! Don’t ya think someone would remember if ya slept with Superman ? ( her memory was erased ) Now to cover all the holes, if she remembered that she slept with Superman then she would remember that Superman is Clark Kent. Bam Bam Bam can ya feel that ?

    Comment by Christopher Hunter | December 2, 2006 | Reply

  5. You make a number of very good points there Christopher!

    Comment by Paul Jacobson | December 2, 2006 | Reply

  6. Christopher Hunter made some really good points. It is my understanding that this film was made on the premise that Superman 3 & 4 didn’t really happen and this is to be considered as the sequel to Supermand 2. I really and truly believe that this one should be looked upon as not really happening and restarting the series. Maybe by then they can locate an actor to play Superman and not an actor portraying Christopher Reeve portraying Superman.

    Comment by Rickey Tumlin | December 4, 2006 | Reply

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